The Consumer Category
We bring you the chic and unique, the best and most bizarre shopping offers both online and offline. We offer you tips on where to buy, and some of the less mainstream and crazy, individual and offbeat items on the internet. Anything that can be bought and sold can be featured here. And we love showcasing the best and worst art and design.
In 1977, The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston, was the Safest town in America:
The Afflictor notes:
The Woodlands, a master-planned suburb of Houston established in 1974, was the bleeding edge of quantified smart homes, as each unit was wired and connected. The monitoring was still external then, the way pacemakers originally were.
The Woodlands is still there. And you could be there, too. This 2014 video is by The Woodlands Development Company:
That’s NOT Entertainment!
For some time now our happy island nation has, slowly but surely, been invaded by an uninvited and unwelcome breed.
This is nothing to do with immigration, asylum-seekers, refugees, the EU or any of the other supposed threats that exercise the newspapers at election time.
No, this is an insidious invasion that has targeted our TV screens, and in particular the advertisements, ‘trails’ and promotional montages that seem to take up as much time as the programmes they punctuate…
The invaders are instantly recognizable by their distinctive singing style: breathy, slightly flat, sometimes with an ‘emotive’ crack in the voice. Their songs are, variously: drippy, dippy, dull and dreary. They are invariably accompanied by willfully amateurish acoustic guitar. This formula is used to advertise everything from white goods to Barclays’ revolting ‘thank you’ to ‘real football fans’.
Do you like slow tea? Do you like your tea to seep in the manner of sloth sweat (which is very hard stuff to find)? foodiggity has created these sloth tea bags.
“Live slow die whenever,” says the sloth as he’s lowered bum-first into a boiling hot cup of water. For ‘whenever’ read ‘soon’ as the perforations let the steming brew flood in and the flavour flood out…
Hold on your Top Gear hair it’s going to be bumpy ride as we look at Top Gear erotic fan fiction. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are away…
This is from a work entitled Clutch:
“At first he thought the taut muscles and slender hips belonged to a girl. But, aroused, he strode closer and recognised the unmistakable frame of his friend Jeremy.”
Anyone with £85,000 to spend can invest in the uniform sported by Nazi leader Hermann Goering. The suit worn by the man who founded the Gestapo is being sold by Parade Antiques, in Plymouth, Devon.
Owner John Cabello tells the Times the outfit is covered in stains and stretch marks.
“He also had a habit of putting his left hand into his pocket. The wear on the left pocket is substantially more than the right.”
Anyone got an idea why that is?
Want to eat your face in chocolate egg form? Bompas & Parr have news:
Just in time for Easter, Bompas & Parr invites you to explore the possibilities of the world’s first anatomical Easter eggs – in the shape of your own face! Eat My Face is a hands-on-face service that will see us create an exact mould of you or your child, mistress or dog’s face for that matter, in chocolate.
By using the latest facial-scanning and 3D-printing technology and employing our expertise honed in jelly mould-making, we are able to create a perfect mould of anyone’s face which can then be used to create an iconic chocolate egg form.
Mums and dads are invited to “turn your child’s potty training milestone into a fun, interactive and successful experience”.
But how can you polish a turd? Why, with Poop ‘n Pull. The Ultimate Potty Training Experience.
Heather & Josh Moffatt want to talk crap with you.
We want to use Kickstarter to help other parents share the incredible success we’ve seen with the Poop ‘n Pull Potty Training Experience.
Irony overload in the Daily Mail, which brings news that an advert by fashion company American Apparel has had “ANOTHER advert banned, this time for ‘too sexy’ photos of underage-looking model in thong bodysuit”.
So, how does it choose to illustrate this apparent horror? Why, by publishing a photo of the American Apparel advert and zooming on the model’s primary sexual characteristics:
To a McDonald’s in Roseburg, Oregon, where coffee is a perfume:
“I really wanted to come up with something that was quick, effective, that appealed to the urban city girl…There are so many mommy blogs out there that talk about using breast milk to basically help with skin conditions.”
The milk is famed at “certified milk banks”.
File under: jug ears.
Happy day for Amalie Bruun and Brian Harding. The pop duo known as Ex Cops are invited to play at the Austin, Texas, SXSW. It would be just great. Think of the exposure. Think of the fans. Don’t think of the money because the invite from McDonald’s wants you to appear for free.
The Ex Cops’ replied via their Facebook page:
‘McDonald’s asked us to play SXSW. This is Brian’s open letter about it.
This week our band was asked to play the McDonald’s Showcase at the annual South by Southwest, also known to music insiders as “SXSW.”
Their selling point was that this was “a great opportunity for additional exposure,” and that “McDonald’s will have their global digital team on site to meet with the bands, help with cross promotion, etc”
I don’t, and doubt that they know what this means either.
Getting past that rhetoric, at the very least a big corporation like McDonald’s can at least pay their talent a little. Right?
“There isn’t a budget for an artist fee (unfortunately)”
As of 2013, McDonalds is valued at 90.3 billion dollars.
I won’t get into the internet semantics of things you’ve probably seen on your Facebook feed; like that thing where it takes a McDonald’s worker 4 months to earn what the CEO makes in an hour, or their GMO love affair, and I will certainly spare you the bounty of photos showing how they treat their animals.
In lieu of being paid like a real artist, or anyone who is employed to do a service, McDonald’s assures us that we will “be featured on screens throughout the event, as well as POSSIBLY mentioned on McDonald’s social media accounts like Facebook (57MM likes!)”
We recently headlined a show at the Brooklyn venue Baby’s Alright. They are by no means a DIY venue, but they are still an independent small business. The owners are people our age who used to book shows at Pianos and busted their asses to open a venue of their own in Brooklyn.
While I haven’t asked Billy or Zach how much they make annually (that would be weird) I’m going to guess they’re not looking at brownstones in Prospect Park at the moment. Yet when we played, we were paid very very fairly, were provided with drink tickets, and each band member fed a full entree from their menu (try the Brussels sprouts)
I will also go ahead and save time for any schill / troll rebuttals; “Are the other showcases paying you? No one is holding a gun to your head!” This is true. It is our choice (pretty much) to fly to Austin, play shows without soundcheck, and get paid nothing to a little. But hear this loud and clear, we LOVE making music, it is what we do, and despite some of its very apparent flaws, SXSW still provides a decent venue to be heard by some people who are really there to hear new music and not just do blow with dudes who wear square toe loafers.
It is a horrifying and gross reality when one sees the true nature of corporations and their pathetic attempts to achieve relevance with millennials. Doritos received a lot of flack for their stage a couple years ago, but i’m going to assume they paid Lady Gaga.
Oh, I almost forgot; “McDonald’s will offer free food to all audience members”
I don’t doubt that tons of bands will kowtow to this lame, lame attempt at a rock show. And I’m aware that to achieve any exposure is a Herculean task in 2015, but the Boethian Wheel is a real thing, and this will continue to exist if we, as artists, keep saying yes in exchange for a taste of success. Even if smells like a shitty Fish filet.’
Can you be a burger artiste? Just wondering because McDonald’s have a few opportunities – all unpaid – for anyone who can pump sauce into intersting shapes…
To mark World Book Day, school children are encouraged to dress up as their favourite book character. Liam Scholes, 11, arrived at Sale High School dressed as Christian Grey, eponymous star of 50 Shades of Grey. He carried a mask and cable ties.
The school duly banned him from participating in themed events and the class photograph.
And that seems harsh given that in the 1930s sad-masochism was the stuff of boys comic books. Indeed 50 Shades of Grey was originally titled 50 Shades of Greyfriars, a work of Billy Bunter fan fiction:
Chick Career: one man’s comic-book crusade for humanity
Are you worried about the growing menace of the Homosexual-Catholic-Islamic-Satanist-Masonic-Alien conspiracy to promote evolutionism, fornication, pornography, pornography, paedophilia, pop music, alcohol and drugs?
Well in that case, it’s high time you got acquainted with Jack Chick – crazy name, crazy guy – and his body of enlightening works.
I first became aware of Jack when I purchased This Was Your Life for a few pence in a Christian bookshop many decades ago. Its primitive and unsubtle visual style intrigued me, as did the way it crudely homed in on the childlike insecurities that lurk within us. Here it is, animated for your convenience (with an extra ending that is definitely NOT in Jack’s original)…
But if the theme of the prodigal son is a familiar one, Jack’s other work takes us to nightmare scenarios far beyond the normal scriptural pastures, where the very existence of the human race hangs in the balance…
So who is Jack Chick? And how did this unlikely evangelist embark on his pioneering cartooning career?
According to his website, ‘As he grew, Jack was constantly drawing, and honing skills that God would later use in a great way.’
A great – some might say mysterious –way indeed.
Jack got off to an inauspicious start: ‘While in high school, none of the Christians would have anything to do with him because of his bad language. They all agreed not to witness to him, convinced that he was the last guy on earth who would ever accept Jesus Christ.’
After high school, Jack studied drama, went in the army, and eventually became an actor.
Then one day his mother-in-law insisted that he listen to Charles E Fuller’s Old Fashioned Revival Hour on the radio, during which Jack fell to his knees ‘and my life was changed forever’.
First he borrowed $800 from the credit union to fund the initial printing of Why No Revival?
Then, while out driving, Jack spotted some teenagers on the street. ‘At the time, I didn’t like teenagers or their rebellion,’ he recalled. ‘But, all of a sudden, the power of God hit me and my heart broke and I was overcome with the realisation that these teens were probably on their way to hell. With tears pouring down my face, I pulled my car off the road and wrote as fast as I could, as God poured the story into my mind.’
The result? A Demon’s Nightmare
Jack’s boss told him that the Chinese people had been won over to Communism through mass distribution of cartoon booklets, and this planted the seed of a plan in his fertile mind.
When invited to speak at a local prison, he prepared a flip chart to illustrate his speech. So successful was his performance that ‘nine of the eleven inmates present trusted Christ as their Saviour’.
The artwork from his talk formed the basis of This Was Your Life, the seminal ‘Chick Tract’ mentioned earlier.
The early tracts were not an instant hit.
‘A lot of the bookstores were really outraged at some guy using these cartoons to present the gospel,’ remembered Jack. ‘They thought it was sacrilegious.’
Half a century later, however, with hundreds of tracts translated into a hundred tongues, Chick claims a combined sales figure of 750 million: ‘His burden has always been to get the gospel into the hands of millions of lost people around the world. He wanted to be a missionary himself, but his new wife wanted no part of missionary life. Her aunt had been a missionary in Africa. While pregnant, she was being carried across a river on a stretcher, when one of those carrying her lost a leg to an alligator. But God had other plans. He wanted Jack to stay home and produce effective gospel literature that missionaries could use to win the lost. As a result, many missionaries love Chick tracts and use them to reach multitudes they could never reach one on one. Today, over fifty years after writing his first tract, God is still giving Jack Chick new gospel tracts. In fact, he is now producing some of his most popular work. As of this writing, five of the ten most popular Chick tracts in stock have been written in the last year or two.’
Jack’s tracts bring new and vivid illustrations of Christian tenets. In The Execution, a murderer is spared the gallows – only to discover (to his horror) that his own mother offered to be hanged in his place, just as Jesus died for our sins. In Flight 144, a Christian couple who have spent 50 years doing good works around the world in God’s name are killed in a plane crash and refused entry to heaven because good works don’t save sinners – only God can. In Heart Trouble, a man visits a cardiologist who tells him that he will die (‘everybody dies’) and that everyone is born with a heart problem: ‘the ugly things down deep in your heart that we can’t see… But God does.’ In Lisa (now no longer available but posted online by Chick’s detractors) a doctor informs a father that he has given his young daughter an STD – then saves his soul by introducing him to Jesus. In Big Daddy? a crazed teacher throws a boy out of his class for questioning the theory of evolution.
And so on. Targets range from the world’s biggest religions, science, abortion and homosexuality through to Santa Claus, Halloween, Harry Potter, and Dungeons and Dragons.
Many people seem to find it amusing to republish the distinctive Chick Tracts online, with amended text that ridicules Jack’s urgent message.
Some claim that Jack is a bigot and a hater. Others, that he is delusional and mad.
The latter share their delight in Jack Chick’s nightmarish visions at The Chick Tract Club.
But for the real thing, and the fount of all such wisdom, visit the home of Chick and count your blessings.
Garfield Black, 48, of Waterloo, south east London, says that if you respond to the challenge by Peppa Pig to “find the odd one out” the pink cartoon character responds with a “f*ck you… odd one out”.
Garfield bought the Peppa Pig Fun and Learn Tablet for his son Amari.
Mr Black is upset and outrage that his son should hear such language. Here he is voicing his upset to the camera. This way, when Amari is big he can look back and know how close he came to picking up bad langauge: